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Iraqi journalist who threw shoes sentenced to three years in prison

The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at former U.S. President George W. Bush in December was sentenced Thursday to three years in jail, the Kansas City Star reported.

Muntader al-Zaidi was found guilty of assault of an official during the execution of his duties, the New York Times reported.

His family and supporters wept outside the courtroom when they heard the sentence.

There is split opinion among Iraqi journalists about the justice of the verdict. Some believe Zaidi was expressing an opinion, and others believe he shamed Iraq with his actions, the New York Times reported.

The decision and sentence will be appealed, Dhiya al-Saadi, Zaidi's lead lawyer, told the New York Times.